Very Worn Herring Gull in Toronto

These two very worn first cycle gulls were at Bluffers Park on Lake Ontario in Toronto on 8 June 2015. At first from a distance I thought the right gull was a white-winged gull.


Its wing coverts are worn to the feather shaft and primaries are very worn and faded.


It spread its wings a few times.


In flight the primaries were very faded. It has solid secondaries and a brown tail band.


However structurally it looks like a Herring Gull: head shape, bill shape and overall size was comparable to nearby Herring Gulls. At this time of year, the plumage of first cycle gulls is typically worn and faded. However, this is more than usual. This gull may have overwintered in the south, possibly Gulf of Mexico or Florida, where its feathers were heavily bleached by strong sunlight.